Select info from the FOIA

By:  Diane Benjamin I finally made it through all 924 pages of the latest FOIA from Normal. Marc Tiritilli addressed the Council in person before they voted to continue electric aggregation.  Prior to that he sent this email: I suggest you compare Ameren prices to your bills if you haven’t opted-out.  Marc knows what he […]

This will kill the sports complex!

By:  Diane Benjamin The Private Sector is always better than government run because private uses THEIR money.  Plans are better, spending is better, results are ALWAYS better. Last August I wrote about a private soccer complex being developed – S.K. Nord Fields:  https://blnnews.com/2019/08/07/why-is-the-sports-complex-back/ Millennium FC has now partnered with the Bloomington Warriors Lacrosse team.  Millennium […]

Update to NEXT Week’s meetings

By:  Diane Benjamin The December 2nd joint meeting of the Bloomington and Normal Councils to print money for a sports complex has been cancelled.  Evidently they found out that is illegal. Actually Bloomington has little interest in funding a $43 million project guaranteed to lose money and Normal can’t do it alone.  Why a meeting […]

Bloomington recap 11/18/19

By:  Diane Benjamin Two council members were absent:  Joni Painter and Kimberly Bray Connect Transit’s Judy Buchanan didn’t show up.  The presentation was cancelled “due to illness”. Side Note: WGLT reported only 6 members out of 13 attended the illegal Saturday meeting – they discussed items for almost 4 hours anyway:  https://www.wglt.org/connect-transit-likely-delay-fare-increase-again-awaits-working-group-report How much of […]

Tiritillli Public Comment found + another sports complex

By:  Diane Benjamin As reported in this story, the Public Comment by Marc Tiritilli was cut from the posted video at the 9/30/2019 joint meeting of the McLean County Board, Town of Normal, and Bloomington City Council:  https://blnnews.com/2019/10/07/comment-cut-from-video-tiritilli/ I filed a FOIA Request with Bloomington since they had posted the rest of the video.  It […]

Sports Complex?

By:  Diane Benjamin Why did the Sports Complex come back?  It looks like it’s being pushed by the Convention and Visitors Bureau:  (CVB) That email was included in one of the FOIA request I received. Another email shows the Normal City Manager’s response to a citizens opposed to the complex. I redacted he name: Meanwhile, […]

Catch a glimpse inside FOIA requests

By:  Diane Benjamin The Freedom of Information Act was created to insure citizens can obtain information about the government THEY pay for. All documents belong to citizens, not government.  There are a few exemptions to what can be withheld, but every FOIA request starts with the assumption documents are available to anybody who asks for […]

More from the Soccer emails

By:  Diane Benjamin Received by FOIA. I seem to remember Pam Reece saying at meetings that staff can’t investigate any issues the Council doesn’t authorize.  Since the sport complex suddenly reappeared, Stan Nord sent this email to Pam: Pam responded – note she responded to the entire Council instead of who Stan copied. Is Kathleen […]

Nobody represents you!

By:  Diane Benjamin If the residents of Bloomington still haven’t figured out the Council doesn’t represent you, watch last night’s meeting.  The schmoozing was over the top with accolades for each other for everything but breathing. There were a few slaps in the face to citizens.  The first one was made by City Manager Tim […]

4 pics you need to see

By:  Diane Benjamin First refer back to yesterday’s story:   https://blnnews.com/2019/02/09/remember-when-bloomington-was-broke/ The City of Bloomington will be adding yet another Quality of Life location most of the population will never use.  EVERY Quality of Life location they have now loses money, including the zoo.  Even though local soccer people have finally taken it on themselves to […]

Remember when Bloomington was broke?

By:  Diane Benjamin All Tari’s structural deficits put forth only to raise taxes have disappeared.  Bloomington is now on a spending spree! Proposed budget for next year:  http://www.cityblm.org/home/showdocument?id=18372 Page 349 and following Remember when Bloomington wasn’t interested because they had too many other expenses? According to the last finance report, next years budget only spends […]

Debt: Normal vrs Bloomington

By:  Diane Benjamin As of 3/31/18 Normal had total debt of $89,823,286.  $88,125,000 won’t be paid off until 2041.  Interest rates range from 2.00% to 6.30%. Source As of 4/30/18 Bloomington had total debt of $242,010,034.  $57,095,000 won’t be paid off until 2035.  The interest rates aren’t listed.  $173,646,119 is liabilities for pensions and associated […]

Normal is following the PLAN

By:  Diane Benjamin Town of Normal for tonight:   http://www.normal.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/3094 Just to prove what I wrote in this story:   https://blnnews.com/2018/10/15/why-bloomington-normal-is-doomed/ Completing the Circle is in the plan, therefore it must be done: Bills for approval: These don’t need an explanation, note the Sports Complex is still alive.  How did they ever do FOIA requests before spending […]

$43 Million proposal is finally posted

By:  Diane Benjamin The book handed out to the Councils Monday night (and me) needed some corrections.  Maybe that’s the reason for the delay in posting the information. Normal has posted links to the presentation including video of the Monday meeting:    https://www.normal.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1796 The local paper today called for a binding referendum.  They called the complex […]

Arena – Will Gleason shut it down?

By:  Diane Benjamin The local paper has an editorial declaring the new City Manager the right guy because Decatur re-did their downtown.  They think Normal did, so there is no reason Bloomington can’t. They forgot Normal was in ZERO debt before they spent around $100,000,000 on Uptown.  (Is that restaurant space on the Circle still […]

PRIVATE sports complex proposed

By:  Diane Benjamin When the consultants report is presented for a new sports complex here, it will be a glowing report of tax dollars and visitors flocking here with their kids.  It won’t mention the PRIVATE Pony League Fields that were built with no tax dollars but are thriving anyway. I wonder if the consultants […]

Government’s Boot

By:  Diane Benjamin It isn’t possible to have verbal or email permission from government to do anything and expect it to be honored.  If boats on Lake Bloomington are so hazardous to the drinking water that supposed “illegal” docks must be removed, why are any boats allowed on the Lake? $250 fine per day?  Send […]

Surprises on Bloomington’s Agenda!

By:  Diane Benjamin The packet for Monday is 877 pages!  I’m sure the Council will read every word:   http://www.cityblm.org/Home/ShowDocument?id=16340 PDF page 294: Remember how Tari claimed he wasn’t interested in the west-side sports complex? Evidently Normal didn’t like paying the full cost of the study.  Since it won’t be downtown, maybe Tari wants the Council […]

Sports complex imminent

By:  Diane Benjamin Quality of Life.  Economic driver. Government thinks they create prosperity, the opposite is true.  They redistribute your money to their preferred providers for services they want.  Essential services, like fixing the roads, are immaterial. The Normal Town Council unanimously agreed to spend $47,000 on a study that will say exactly what they […]

Budget meeting – the video

By:  Diane Benjamin The video of the December 20th budget meeting at the BCPA has been posted.  The camera angle does not allow viewers to see the data the crowd got to see. One thing is clear:  Council members like Scott Black believe government is the answer to every problem, they just need to spend […]

They built it – nobody came

By:  Diane Benjamin Old story, but the Coliseum was built against the wishes of the people, bigger venues already existed in Peoria and Champaign.  The Coliseum isn’t big enough to draw big name acts, the sports teams have lousy attendance at games. The economic impact of the Coliseum is a made-up number with no actual […]

B-N Sports Complex-Delphi

By:  Diane Benjamin The local area has THREE agencies coordinating economic development:  B-N Convention and Visitors Bureau, BN Advantage, and the Economic Development Council. There is MUCH more to this story – but not today. The Bloomington Normal Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has another committee nobody has ever heard of: Sports Commission Board The Board […]

$20-$30 million for low wage jobs

By:  Diane Benjamin Mark Peterson – Normal’s City Manager – talked to WGLT yesterday:  http://wglt.org/post/public-private-partnership-lacking-establish-sports-complex#stream/0 Peterson thinks taxpayers should pony up $20-$30 million for a sports complex! The total cost will be $50 million, but it’s not a Public-Private partnership.  He doesn’t say where the rest of the money will come from or who will […]

Chamber of Commerce socialism

By:  Diane Benjamin After the McLean County Chamber of Commerce supported every big spender in the local elections, they are now want a huge sports complex at your expense. If government created prosperity, Illinois would be the most successful state in the country! Instead, people are fleeing high taxes, regulations, and government nonsense.  But the […]

Normal recount Part 2

By:  Diane Benjamin Last week I wrote about the review of signatures of some voters in Normal:  https://blnnews.com/2017/05/06/normals-vote-recount/ The McLean County Clerk has the signatures on file for the purpose matching the voter with that signature on election day.  Since voter ID isn’t required, it’s quite easy for anyone to pick the name of a […]

Yep, you will be paying for it

By:  Diane Benjamin Tari Renner on WJBC this morning:  https://audioboom.com/posts/5905103-tari-renner-bloomington-mayor-5-10-17?t=0 Listen to his opening statement declaring how transparent the City is!  Bull Tari.  The results of Council meetings are pre-determined, FOIA requests are routinely denied, City Manager reports with usable information no longer exist, and suddenly the City MUST spend $60,000+ a month on legal […]

All they do is PLAN

UPDATE:  See what the 2010 Plan cost HERE By:  Diane Benjamin Under Tari Renner, taxpayers have been forced to pay for plan after plan after plan.  Departments have been dragging their multi-million dollar plans in front of the Council for months while Tari claims it’s all a wish list. The wish of the next Mayor […]